The pilot of Suitcase City, a concept film by Keith Sutliff, contains exactly as many mysteries as there should be in the first episode of any good show. You have to reveal something, but at the same time stay within the right intrigue, which forces viewers to stay away from episode after episode. You won’t know what the hell is going on, even if it’s explained over and over again, and the main character’s facial expression speaks for itself.
The City of Suitcases also looks like a good short film. One that promises to be an action thriller without necessarily showing anything. This undisclosed premise is the reason that Suitcase City can become a worthy show. No matter what, the drama of the first episode will always come back.
Sutliff plays Mason, an ex-cop who now leads a militia of ex-cops trying to regain control of the city. This city was once civilized. Now he controls gangs and radicals who have finished every single resource, and only this source remains.
Mason is organizing something. We don’t know what it is, and there aren’t enough clues to find the answer. We see him going outside (on his DeLorean, a damn nice touch) and he’s heading to a place connected to his past. Again, not much is explained here. The secret of his past (and his boundaries) disappears along with the smoke of his burning cigarettes. Mason is a secret, and Sweetcase City tells its story.
At least, that’s what I think.
Every pilot is an experiment, but not everyone likes it. This one, of course, doesn’t do that. It’s beautifully shot, and the sound design is awesome (more on that below). You can feel that Sutliff has put all his resources into this project. It demonstrates the efforts of a director who knows exactly what to do when you have attractive shots, but he also has an interesting and promising story to tell. Again, Suitcase City is a short version of something bigger. A proof of concept that gets to the right place.
The score by prolific Spanish composer Federico Vaona, in particular, feels like a solid addition to the show. There is a spaciousness in his works that makes us feel that we are part of this leaved landscape. The Bath score resembles Zimmer’s work in Blade Runner 2049 and raises the level of the game.
Let’s get started. The city of suitcases allows us to look at something interesting and nothing more. It doesn’t even try to display the action and remains a slow introduction to something we haven’t seen yet. However, this is not necessary. Mason is interesting enough as a presenter to keep us and count on excellent delivery. Whether this happens or not, time will tell. I’m just waiting for this fantastic car to appear again, and I want to hear more of Vana’s music.